homemade pumpkin spice mocha

**Disclosure:  I am working with CocoaVia to develop various Fall and Holiday inspired recipes using their daily cocoa extract supplement sticks variety pack.  CocoaVia sent me their product in exchange for a recipe and blog post.  All opinions are my own.**

As an October baby, Fall has always been my favorite season.  Fall boasts the most beautiful scenery, the best (running) weather, and by far my favorite foods all year!  I can’t get enough of Fall foods:  chili, candy corn, apples, pumpkin.  I mean, what’s not to like, right?!

The weather has finally turned cooler here in St. Louis.  With 90 degree temps at the beginning of the month, I was afraid the chilly Fall weather that I absolutely love just wasn’t going to happen.  But, the “winds of change” blew through for my birthday this weekend and we are now into “jeans and sweater” weather – Ooh!  Another reason to LOVE Fall!

And with the chilly air, my body starts to crave warm drinks.  I seriously think there is some sort of laser beam that pulls me in to Starbucks.  Seriously.  I’m there at least once a week now – probably more in the past month that I have been all year, TOTAL.  But, I can’t get enough Pumpkin Spice Lattes to curb my pumpkin and warm drink craving that I’m having.  However, my wallet (and my husband) are screaming at me to cut this habit.  I wish I could tell them how to turn off the laser beam sucking me in, but I’m not sure my brain or body is quite ready for that.

The next best solution, of course, is to make it at home!  Now, I know probably every single one of you reading this (except maybe my mom because she hates coffee) has found a recipe for a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte on the internetz or Pinterest.  Believe me, I’m pretty sure my Drink board is full of PSLs and warm drinks.  But, I didn’t want to make any old PSL.  I wanted to make it my own.  And what makes EVERYTHING better?  Chocolate.  Yeah, I went there…

Pumpkin Spice Mocha

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Mocha
Serves 1.

2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2-3 tablespoons coffee creamer
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or use pumpkin pie spice if you prefer – I’m too cheap to buy some)
1 packet CocoaVia Sweetened Dark Chocolate supplement (or about 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder)
Sugar, to taste (optional)
2 cups brewed coffee (I like using pumpkin flavored the best)

Combine pumpkin and coffee creamer in a mug or bowl.  Heat in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.  Add cinnamon and CocoaVia packet and blend with a hand mixer or milk frother.  Pour milk into a mug and add the coffee.

I tend to keep my coffee on the unsweet side, so this really didn’t need sugar added to it, especially with the sweetened CocoaVia packet.  But, feel free to add it if you would like!

I absolutely LOVE the frothy chocolatey creamer in this drink!  I think it takes the drink to the next level.  I was lucky enough to have CocoaVia send me a frother to use and I am absolutely head over heels for it!  I can’t drink any coffee drink without frothy milk now.

The other benefit of this delicious drink is that the CocoaVia is a great way to get your daily flavanols.  Flavanols help promote healthy circulation, which is important for cardiovascular health, cognitive health, skin health, and blood flow.  As a sufferer of Raynaud’s Disease, I already have bad circulation (my fingers and toes go complete numb and turn white in cold weather or after I eat due to digestion), so I know CocoaVia stirred into this drink or just my daily cup of coffee will help keep my fingers numb-free through the winter.

This is so quick and easy that I can actually make it in the few minutes I have before I rush out the door on my way to work.  And not only is it absolutely delicious, it saves me about $5 every time I make it.  Win-win, if I do say so myself!

What is your favorite season and why?  What season could you do without?  I know that even though I’m a teacher, I could do without summer.  Bring me chilly/chili weather and I’m one happy gal!